RfD – Reality For Dummies

There is an epidemic in America these days. It’s a damaging combination of ignorance, anger, stubbornness, apathy, gullibility, reluctance, spite, denial, and straight up stupidity. (Among at least a dozen other harmful ways of thinking.) Since this post will revolve mostly around political opinions or beliefs, let me say that I don’t even care what “side” you’re on when it comes to any particular issue… I just want you to be able to recognize and accept things that are false, just as I want you to be able to recognize and accept things that are truthful. Operating within the bounds of reality, to put it simply. Apparently, though, that’s something that can prove to be incredibly difficult for an obscene amount of humans on this planet.

  • Robert Mueller and his team announce 13 new indictments resulting from their investigation. Most of the people are Russian, not linked to Donald Trump in any specific way, and it says the people that the Russians did work with were unwitting participants… unaware that their strings were being pulled by Russians.

Donald Trump and his supporters immediately seized on this news, and either through ignorance or deception – spun it as some sort of huge vindication for Trump. Going on about how the actions of those Russians had no impact on the election, and that it proves that Donald Trump and his campaign “did nothing wrong” and that there was no collusion. All of that, and more, based on these specific indictments on thatย specific day.

RfD Explanation: 1) Nobody can say with certainty that the actions of the Russians had zero impact on the election results. You can only say that if you know for certain what would have happened without Russian interference, which is impossible. 2) As for the “did nothing wrong” and “no collusion” claims… those claims can both be true for this incident, with these indictments, while still allowing for those claims to be false when it comes to anything else in the investigation. If the FBI is investigating the mob and they arrest some low level shmuck – just because it was “the shmuck” that was picked up, it obviously doesn’t guarantee that the mob leaders are innocent and will never be caught and charged in the future. That shouldn’t even need explanation.

  • President Obama created DACA protections through an executive order, which Donald Trump has since nullified once he came into office.

In the time since then, Donald Trump has been endlessly tweeting about how Democrats don’t want to help DACA, they don’t really want DACA, they only want it as a campaign issue, and how badly DACA recipients have been treated by the Democrats. He also claims that Republicans are the ones who are working hard to save it, that they want to make a deal to save DACA, and that he’s offering DACA as a great deal to Democrats.

RfD Explanation: Donald Trump single-handedly ended DACA. There shouldn’t be a need for elaboration after that, but… not only is Trump responsible for DACA being in the dire position that it’s in, but he and the Republicans will not vote on a clean DACA bill. He wants to use it as a bargaining chip – the exact thing that he has accused the Democrats of wanting to do. Democrats were even willing to deal, to offer requested funding for “The Wall” in a bipartisan deal that would save DACA – but Trump went back on his word and rejected the deal, feeling he wasn’t getting enough from the Democrats to save DACA. Simply put, the GOP controls the senate and the house, so if Trump wanted to save DACA as he claims, the Republicans could do it themselves – with just a few (happily given) votes from Democrats. Every argument he makes on this is nonsense.

  • Rob Goldman, Vice President of Advertising at Facebook, made several tweets about their part in the Mueller investigation – since they’re being looked at due to Russians buying blocks of advertising on the site before and after the election. He wrote today that “I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal.”

RfD Explanation: The problem with this statement is that Donald Trump and loads of his followers started retweeting this information as fact. That the Russians were “definitively” not trying to sway the election. However, unless the ad buyers directly told Goldman the goal of their plan – his use of the word “definitively” is a huge issue. He can look at all the ads, he can look at other information, but his conclusion is simply an opinion or impressionย – not something that should be presented as a fact, and then retweeted by Trump as a fact. It would be like me saying “I read this help wanted ad, and can say definitively that they wouldn’t hire my friend Jim.” It’s not something that can be claimed as fact.

Those are just the three most recent incidents in my mind, where people are being sold a load of horse shit – and they either don’t care or they don’t know any better, so they run with it and repeat it to others as gospel as well. As long as something fits the preferred narrative that someone already has in their head, they’re not going to apply critical thought. Some others… they might actually suspect (or even know) that a piece of information may be partially or completely false, but for some reason they’d rather feel right (with others that think like them) than actually be right.

I’m sure there are some Trump supporters who started out legitimately putting their hope into the guy. Wanting to give him a chance, and believing his words when he’d say how much he was gonna fight for “the little guy” or whatever it was that sold himself to them. Over time though, I’m sure that many of those folks started questioning, and then realizing… that in so many instances, Trump is ridiculously full of shit. But by that point they’re already fully invested – and even just acknowledging the lies and deceptions to themselves is something they aren’t willing to do. Realizing and admitting that you’ve been suckered, even just to yourself, is a difficult thing to do. Nobody likes feeling duped… and many Trump supporters, to me at least, seem like they’d rather angrily defend everything about him and their support for him, rather than allowing anyone else to see that they’ve realized how much they’ve been conned. Their feet are dug in at that point, and nothing will change their mind about how they’re gonna play the rest of the game.

I’m not sure which people are more scary/frustrating to me. The ones who know that Trump (or whoever) is full of shit most of the time, or the folks who really do believe everything that Trump (or whoever) says. I can understand people in the first group, but the second group… how can anyone be so oblivious when they’re being lied to over and over? But hell, in both instances – I can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for them. It would suck to put your faith into someone that turned out to be a snake oil salesman, just as it would suck to be so blinded by hope that you can no longer recognize fact from fiction.

The divide between folks like me and folks like them… it’s getting bigger and bigger with each day that passes. On top of that, while I thought that when it comes to politics, that people would start to consider themselves more as independents, as issue based thinkers and voters – but the opposite seems to be true. Democrats/liberals are moving farther to the left just as quickly as Republicans/conservatives are moving farther to the right. Things feel broken and somewhat irreparable, and I don’t see how it’s going to get any better any time soon. That’s what brings me back to the topic of this post. If people could just make more of an effort to find/recognize/admit truths and resist lies and bullshit, and act on those truths and lies accordingly, things would have to get a little better, right?


180 Minutes

As usual, knowing that I have things that I want to do today, my brain decided to screw my sleep last night. ๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Strangely enough, even after getting only three hours of sleep this morning, I actually woke up without much pain and feeling pretty good. ๐Ÿ˜ง๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Perhaps it was a positive product of not being in pain when I went toย sleep as well… and the early rising was likely due to my subconscious thoughts being all “BLARGHARRGGH STUFF TO DO TOMORROW ARGGHHBLAHH” thanks to the plans floating around in my head.

I’m not mad though… I mean, there’s not much I can do about it anyway. ๐Ÿคจ I’m not even feeling stressed, so I don’t know why my brain decided to cut my sleep short, but I’m actually glad that it did. Because, first,ย I plan to spend all of this morning and some of the afternoon just being lazy, while also working on some bills – and second, it should work wonders for getting me on the right schedule for my upcoming appointment with my neck doctor. โ˜บ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป I’m sure I’d feel differently if I hadn’t been gifted this inexplicable yet reasonably good mood upon opening my eyes.

While I’ve been sitting here at the laptop, I used the time to download several different RTL-SDR programs for use with the NESDR SMArt USB tuner that arrived the other day. ๐Ÿค“ I’m still amazed that it, along with a handful of antennas, only sets a buyer back twenty-five bucks shipped. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ The build on this thing feels solid, too… with them having spent the extra money to put these things into brushed aluminumย housingsย rather than using cheap plastic. The drivers installed without issue when I plugged it up to the laptop, so as soon as I’ve got an hour or so of uninterrupted time ahead of me I’m gonna start figuring out what all she can do. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Now, if I was smart I would use this extra “awake time” to stop by my doctor’s office and make an appointment regarding my thyroid. But, at least for today, I’m not claiming to be smart. ๐Ÿ˜” I’m already planning to stop by and see Mom and Dad late in the afternoon, and I don’t really wanna drop the “unknown” of scheduling an appointment to find out what’s wrong. ๐Ÿค• I know, making an appointment todayย wouldn’t mean I’d be seen any sooner than in a couple of weeks, but I’d rather just not plop it in with today’s events – especially when I’m feeling better than average at the moment. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Okay, I better get my ass off of here and get busy chilling. (And bills. Don’t forget the bills. ๐Ÿ˜)

Written Word

Let me start by saying that yeah, I’m pretty messed up right now. ๐Ÿ˜ž My methods of dealing with my depression and anxiety might not be the greatest, but I’m doing what I can – and so far I’m hangin’ in there. Also, there was a point in time not too awful long ago that I wasn’t like this at all. ๐Ÿ˜ณ Having said that, logic might say that since there was a time when I wasn’t this way in the past – there’s a pretty good chance that there will come a time in the future when I’m no longer like this. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคž I just wanted to put that out here for folks that don’t really know me, and who might be assuming that I’ve just been a mess since birth or something. ๐Ÿ˜ Not so.

Today was actually decent, helped in great part by the 15 hours of sleep that I got last night. ๐Ÿ˜ง My body finally won, fighting against my brain – which for some reason thinks that it doesn’t require any sleep at all to function. ๐Ÿ˜ตย So catching up on sleep was step one, beautiful weather was step two, and then adding some frivolous stops while I was out doing my required errands was the third step that made “facing the humans” more tolerable today than I expected. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Ollie’s has now been in our town long enough that I could actually take a leisurely look around the place without a thousand people and their carts getting in my way. Lots of stuff for home improvement… painting stuff, carpeting stuff… a thought which has been bouncing around in the back of my mind since I moved in here. ๐Ÿค” Decent prices there, which makes the idea of perhaps doing something in that arena less painful.

When I walked down the “office stuff” aisle though… there was a section with a bunch of little hard-cover spiral-bound notebooks that immediately shouted out to me. It’s probably been a couple of years since I’ve kept a proper journal, something which has been proven to help with my sanity, so I grabbed two of them – being optimistic that I could force myself back into the habit, just as I’ve done with this blog.

But I bought the stuff that I needed to buy, and then I picked up a few extra things like those notebooks just to add some “not meh” stuff to all my bags. And yeah, this probably sounds like the most non-interesting shopping trip / day in the world to most folks, but for me to just have a day that didn’t feel heavy… to me it was worth making an entry here. ๐Ÿ˜

We’ve now reached the point where I’m hesitating to wrap it up here, because I’m looking over at a week-and-a-half’s worth of mail that is sitting on my couch that I absolutely have to get to tonight… and I just have a feeling that there’s gonna be one or two things in there that will try to remove my internal smile and kill my mood. ๐Ÿคจ Oh, and regarding (perhaps)ย resuming my journal writing… if that ends up happening, at least y’all won’t have to put up with seemingly-pointless entries like this anymore, since they’ll be going in the book instead of up here. It was just a thought, for better or worse.


It’s out of a feeling of obligation that I am writing this blog entry today. ๐Ÿ˜’ After bringing my site out of stasis a while ago, I’ve gotten pretty good at adding entries at a rate which allows people to at least know that I am still here, plodding along… but I’ve been experiencing a rough patch IRL lately – so I’ve reverted to my customary regeneration strategy of avoiding basically everyone and everything. ๐Ÿ˜

See, sometimes it actually does work… but often times it doesn’t. ๐Ÿค” I’m still trying to figure it out, I’ll admit. But when I don’t have my nose in my Facebook feed every 15 minutes, at least that prevents me from seeing all of the awful things that are happening to many of the people that I know. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I don’t have to see the job losses, the evictions, the house fires, the custody battles, the lost pets, the family members dying… them dying. ๐Ÿ˜– I know that I can’t stay isolated forever – but sometimes it’s a necessary step towards getting my thoughts and emotions straightened out in a way where I can deal with all of it.

And it’s funny. We aren’t supposed to admit when things feel heavier than we can bear. We’re supposed to always just “suck it up” or “quit complaining” rather than admit to and (maybe) address the problem. Depression, sadness, anxiety, etc… they are weaknesses, right? And you sure can’t allow the world to see that you are weak. ๐Ÿ™„ Yeah, I talk about it rather openly in my blog… but the stigma still prevents me from feeling able to talk about it directly with my friends or family. At least most of them. (Even in my most self-imposed isolated moments, I try my hardest to allow a few good friends to get past the guards regardless, even if not in person.)

It’s amazing how much stigma can steer your thoughts, actions, and life. And while mental health “stuff” has been a significant topic throughout my years, another stigma I’ve encountered that defies logic is the stigma of being intelligent. Or at least wanting/trying to be intelligent. (NERD!!!!)ย Apparently the United States is one of only a few countries where this is a “thing” as we know it. Where one group of society actively berates and discourages another group of society that only wants to better themselves. Intelligence and aspiration… negative personality traits. Welcome to the Idiocracy. ๐Ÿ˜ž

Heh… so, as you can see, there’s good reason why I’ve been keeping my eyes off of my phone and my fingers off of my keyboard. ๐Ÿ˜‘ I simply haven’t been able to shake this mood. I’m gonna keep watch over the weather for the next few days though, because I am gonna get out of the house and try to do something. Not sure what… or if I wanna seek friends to do whatever the “what” ends up being… but I’m gonna keep putting effort towards the climb out. ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป As always, wish me luck.

Home Stretch

I’m writing this particular entry at 6:00a because yesterday kicked my ass, and I ended up falling asleep around 8:00p last night… which, honestly, I don’t even remember happening. ๐Ÿ˜ I guess that serves as proof (?) of how I have a limited battery when it comes to certain types of activities.

Yesterday afternoon was my appointment with the estate attorney, which I hope will be one of the last times that I have to see him. He was nice as usual, and it seemed that his lack of focus on my particular needs was based more on his full plate rather than anything intentional. I’m not excusing it, the way my calls went unanswered, but I’ve made my share of mistakes or slight delays in the process as well, so it just is what it is.

Everything is going to wind down now, finally, and with the exception of a little paperwork and an appearance before the court (for Steve, not me) there’s not much else that I’m likely going to have to do. I only have to wait a few days to make sure the figures that I’ve got are kosher, and then that’ll pretty much be that.

But yesterday… heh… I thought I was gonna be able to go in there and wrap things up in like ten minutes, but of course things are never that simple when lawyers and courts are involved. ๐Ÿ™„ I didn’t think I’d have to bring all of the shit I’ve compiled over the past year and a half, so I had to also run over to the bank, run back home for some stuff, and then back there to drop off the remaining paperwork. A little more work at home, preparing some paperwork and stuff I have to mail out, and *ploop*ย … I was out. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ด


I had to go in town for a few things, and of course I had to encounter people that represent the worst and “bleh” of our town. Driving down one road I saw an overweight woman with far-too-revealing clothes walking with a stroller… and two other toddlers following shortly behind her. Apparently they weren’t keeping up though, as she was screaming and throwing her hands around as she addressed them.

Then at the thrift store there was another young mother with two children, and she was obviously on some type of drugs because she couldn’t stop talking and describing everything she picked up, getting more and more excited and animated with each crappy thrift store toy that she would see and examine. The boy was old enough that when he made eye contact with me as I walked past, he had this embarrassed look on his face… you could tell that he knew his mom was tripping on something and that it was something she shouldn’t let the public see.

Outside one of the stores I had to stop at, there was nearly a fender bender as an older woman was backing out of a parking spot without looking, and nearly hit a car that was pulling in. The thing is, the car that was pulling in… she could have slowed down or stopped. But instead, she chose to drive right up to the point where she almost got hit, and then lay on her horn and make all sorts of gestures at the old woman. It’s like she wanted the conflict, she wanted to be angry.

There were of course other folks that I drove by… ones that I could make judgments about based on the way they looked, but I’m not even going to go there. People can look rough and not necessarily be bad or assholes or anything… but Christ, this town sure ain’t what it used to be.

What’s Wrong

People have far too much access to each other. It’s not that the access is bad, it’s that people don’t know how to properly use such a feature of today’s life. I’ve never seen such a culture of “I’m miserable so I’m going to make everyone else miserable too.” as now. So many humans seem to exist only to be a bane to other humans.

The most recent bit of bullshit that I came across was when a local festival posted a graphic of a sign that essentially said that no animals were allowed on festival grounds unless they were a certified service animal for a disabled person. So of course some jackass had to get butthurt, complaining that people with diabetes can have service animals, but they aren’t disabled ๐Ÿ˜ย and therefore use of the word was offensive. ๐Ÿ˜‘

The festival quite politely pointed out that the graphic came from somewhere else, and they were simply wanting folks to know that any animals on the property must be service animals, because lots of folks these days try to take advantage of that allowance without a certification for their animals. The same asshole responds with “I don’t know what you mean by ‘these days‘” Oh my God d00d. Are you fucking kidding me? You’re not that dense that you don’t realize that the festival is saying that people try to “fake” service animals quite often these days. (Fact. I’ve seen it online and in person myself.)

But back to access to other humans. I can only speak about the window from which I view the world, and my window is different than it was ten years ago. I’m no longer working, I’m single… so I no longer have a lot of things that would normally take up a person’s time, so I can spend a lot of time online. Researching things that interest me, discussing things with people, debating things… generally a little bit of everything… but that also grants me a ton of time to notice and recognizeย all of the truly horrible people and things in the world. ๐Ÿ˜ž

And this is cliche, but I do blame the Donald Trump presidency for some of it. He goes out in front of the world and acts like the blustering, politically-uneducated, loud mouthed, ignorant blow-hard that he is… and of course it subliminally encourages others, people like him, to do the same thing. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ So now there is a sea of truly ignorant people out there who will run their mouths about almost anything, yet only rarely know of what they’re speaking. Explain to them how wrong they are and it only makes their conviction (in their wrongness) that much stronger. It’s a bizarre and frightening thing to witness day after day after day.

Back when the world was normal, people who were unsure of something would get online to research and learn. But now people live in an echo chamber, where the ignorant people reinforce and invigorate the other ignorant people, so there’s eventually an army of these uninformed and/or misinformed morons. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿป People who do know what they’re talking about… they’ll try to educate the moron army, but the moron army will have none of it. In fact, they’ll get mad. Mad that you’re trying to help them understand something that they clearly do not understand. ๐Ÿ˜’

And so it goes, every day on Twitter… on Facebook… on Reddit… one mass of people against another mass of people. The intelligent people don’t back down because they’re aware that they are right. The ignorant people won’t back down… well… because they’re ignorant. ๐Ÿ˜ It’s frustrating to watch the ignorance grow, as these people spread their misinformation and sometimes blatantly made-up “facts” to the gullible. That’s a Trumpian thing to do – discredit good, factual information as being “fake” so you can replace it with whatever bullshit you wish were the facts.

Meh… those are just a few examples. Then you have fake people on Facebook, creating a bullshit image of what they want people to believe their life is like. They’ll call someone a friend one minute, then talk shit about them as soon as they leave the room. People who will see someone’s enthusiasm for something, and will then laugh or otherwise berate that person and their thing, simply because they don’t share that same enthusiasm.

Then there are the folks who couldn’t give two shits about anyone but themselves. Their entire motivation exists around their own gratification at whatever cost to those around them. Then there are the sad people who seem to require “likes” or “clicks” or whatever, as if that sort of thing validates their life and makes it “good enough” or maybe even better than someone else’s. ๐Ÿ˜ขย “Oh look, she’s talking shit but she only has 72 followers. *laugh*” And then the things that a lot of people would look at and consider to be worth noticing, discussing, or debating… it’s like those things don’t exist to a huge segment of the population. ๐Ÿ˜ง Some things you want people to notice and be shocked or outraged, but the shock and outrage is always saved up for some bullshit like “Did you see that Microsoft included an emoji of a hand “flipping the bird” in their latest update? Can you believe it?”

Granted, again, I know that this is because of the window that I have, to observe the digital humans and actual humans, because of my own choices and otherwise… but I sit here and wonder why, of all the people I know, that I’m one of the very few who are concerned with what’s going on in our government? Steve Bannon said that their intention was to get into office and totally fuck things up (I’m paraphrasing) and boy is that what they’re doing. ๐Ÿ˜ณ Many decades from now, our grandchildren are going to read about this time in their history books and wonder why more people didn’t say or do something.

Our President is an ignorant, narcissistic, bumbling man-child. He installs his daughter and son-in-law in top positions in the White House, despite them having equal political experience. (Meaning ZERO) Sebastian Gorka was a former Breitbart contributor with a penchant for racist hyperbole. Betsy DeVos was named Secretary of Education, despite having no experience in public schools, while lobbying for privatization. Dan Scavino is a conspiracy theorist who posts fake news, including allegations that Michelle Obama is actually a man. Scott Pruitt is a climate change denier who was named to head the EPA, despite suing the agency more than a dozen times previously. And then there’s Rick Perry, who heads the Department of Energy, while not even realizing what the department did until after he took the job. And Pruitt, he’s doing his best to eliminate transparency in the office, so much so that he’s already being legally challenged. Ugh… I could go on and on, because for nearly every Trump appointee there’s some “JFC” fact that goes along with them.

Whether by ignorance, inaction, or purposeful action – our government is literally filled with people who are doing a amazing job of destroying it from the inside, just like Bannon said they wanted. In their delusional bubble, I’m sure they think things are swell. Meanwhile, the more observant of us see that hardly anyone knows what’s going on, and the world sees that hardly anyone knows what’s going on… we’re losing even more respect, and it doesn’t help when our loud-mouthed President keeps making bizarre, almost dementia-tainted tweets and empty threats of war on Twitter. Oh, and did I mention that Trump hasn’t even nominated people for hundreds of vacant positions in his administration? Yeah… it would be nice if we had an Ambassador to South Korea, Qatar, Syria, Turkey, Yemen, etc. (Especially since we’ve already bombed Syria with dozens of missiles.)ย But rather than listing a bunch of other shocking holes in our government, just follow this link and see for yourself. People should be bothered by this.

But no. You used the word “disabled” when talking about service animals and not all people that need service animals are disabled and I find that offensive. It makes my fucking brain hurt sometimes, no lie. ๐Ÿ˜– And try to point out all of Trump’s documented failings and shortcomings to a Trump supporter… yeah… see how that works for ya. More than ever, the ignorant masses are digging in their heels and are simply not going to stand for any of these “so-called facts” anymore. What do you do with people like that? I mean, how do you communicate with them? Reason with them? It’s like this huge chunk of the population has chosen to remove itself from reality, so how is a thinking person supposed to process and deal with that – without getting so frustrated that they have to bust out ridiculously long, multi-paragraph blog posts in the middle of the damn night? ๐Ÿ˜

But yeah, that’s part of “what’s wrong with me” right now…